Young midfielder set for hometown return at the scene of his United debut...

Alex Mowatt says Thursday night’s visit to hometown club Doncaster Rovers will provide a good measure of his first-team progression, two years on from making his United debut there.

The midfielder, aged just 18 at the time, made his first senior appearance in August 2013’s 3-1 Capital One Cup victory at the Keepmoat Stadium, making a big impression in the town where he was born.

Alex’s rise since that night has been a rapid one, with the England Under-20s international claiming last season’s Player of the Year award after a stunning campaign which saw him find the net on nine occasions.

Two years on from his debut and the same competition has again pitted United against Doncaster in the first round, sparking fond memories for Alex.

“I made my debut there two years ago – in the same cup as well – so it’s like going back two years to see how far I’ve come,” he said.

“I can remember everything about my debut. I had to drive to Thorp Arch to go back to Donny.

“I can remember at half-time – I’d played well until that point – and I was thinking ‘Get me off, that’ll do me for my debut’, because I didn’t want to do anything wrong.

“It was a good game for me. I crossed one in and Matt Smith headed it back and Scott Wootton headed it in – I remember it clearly.

“I had loads of family and friends at the game but I tried keeping it on the low, I didn’t want more pressure.

“I’m sure there’ll be more there this time that know whether I’m playing or not.”

Uwe Rosler has already made it clear that his United side will be “taking the cup seriously”, and Alex believes they need to go into the fixture with the same mentality that they would for a league game.

“It’s a derby so you’ve got to approach it like a league game and go into the game firing", he said. "Hopefully we can get the win.

“We just want to get to the next round but we also want to play well like we did on Saturday.

“If we do play like we did on Saturday, we’ll get the win.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s opening draw with Burnley, Alex added: “I thought we played well, we played the style that the gaffer wants us to play and it worked for us.

“We should have won the game in the end, I thought.

“I think we played some good football as well as our defensive game and our pressing game. We created a lot of chances and got crosses in the box.

“It was a great finish from Mirco – on his left foot as well.

“There were a couple of mistakes leading up to their goal, I got beat too easily and they got the cross in so hopefully we’ll learn from them and cut those mistakes out.

“That’s the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in at Elland Road.”